Mozilla, Benton Foundation, Others: FCC Net Neutrality Rollback Broke Law
Public Knowledge, Mozilla, the Benton Foundation, INCOMPAS and others challenging the Federal Communications Commission's Restoring Internet Freedom order say that was not just bad policy but illegal. That is coming in a brief with the US Court of Appeals for the DC Circuit, which is hearing their challenge to the network neutrality regulation rollback--the deadline for initial briefs from non-government parties is Aug 20.
That group and the others have long argued the FCC was making bad policy decisions when the Republican majority last fall voted to repeal the rules against blocking, throttling and paid prioritization and the title II common carrier regime that underpinned them. But they also say that decision, under chair Ajit Pai, "broke the law," which is why the court must reverse it and restore the regulations. Their argument is that the FCC decided the agency lacked all jurisdiction over the internet, a radical move that defined the statute, they say. Also in the "illegal" category, they argue was what they said was the FCC's "cherrypicking" of investment evidence to justify their predetermined outcome of reversing the Title II classification. The FCC majority said one reason for the reversal was that Title II had discouraged investment, including in broadband buildouts to rural and unserved areas. Public Knowledge et al. argue that the FCC ignored evidence to the contrary in conducting a cost-benefit analysis that only benefited their "ideological preference."
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